An Asian father of two who was repeatedly kicked in the head during a hate crime attack, leaving him in a coma, died eight months after the brutal beating of a homeless career criminal in crime-ridden New York City, the NYPD said.
Yao Pan Ma, 61, died Dec. 31 after the April assault of Jarrod Powell, 49, who has been arrested 15 times since 1988, New York police said.
The Big Apple reported nearly 474 hate crimes as of November last year, a 96 percent increase from 2020 during the same time frame when there were 242 such attacks.
Of the 474 hate crimes, 127 attacks were against Asians, a nearly five-fold increase from the 28 attacks against Asians in 2020.
61-year-old Yao Pan Ma (pictured from April) died on December 31, eight months after being attacked.
Ma was collecting cans in April 2021 in East Harlem when Jarrod Powell, 49, attacked him and stomped on his head at least six times, leaving Ma in a coma.
His death has been declared a homicide.
Powell was taken into custody at the Ward’s Island homeless men’s shelter just days after the April attack and was initially charged with second-degree murder and two counts of battery.
He was arrested after another shelter resident recognized him.
His charges have not been updated with the murder charge, police said.
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Ma, a Chinese immigrant, was left in critical condition and placed in a medically induced coma after his head was trampled on at least six times while collecting cans.
‘When I saw him in the hospital … his face, I cried. I still cry, ” his wife Baozhen Chen said in April. ‘I hope he wakes up and talks to me, gets better and comes home. It’s really hard to believe. ‘
Police sources also said at the time that Ma suffered a concussion and facial fractures. The photo of his beaten face showed him connected to medical equipment at the hospital.
Ruth Howell, 64, a neighbor of Ma, described the couple as ‘two peas in a pod’.
‘It is very sad. They were like two peas in a pod. They were always together, ” Howell told the New York Post on Friday.
Powell has been arrested 15 times since 1988 and called the images of the attack ‘a lot of bulls ** t’ and claimed that Ma attacked him first.
Powell in court in June
It infuriates me. He was trying to earn a few dollars to help his family. You expect me to come home, not for this to happen.
Howell also said he wants Ma’s attacker to spend 25 years to life in prison for leaving Chen alone.
‘She is a good person. That shouldn’t happen to her, ” Howell told the New York Post.
Ma was pushing her cart and collecting recyclables in Harlem to help her family make ends meet after losing her job as a dishwasher during the coronavirus pandemic.
Ma was “going about her business with her shopping cart,” witness Armetha Knight, 37, told the New York Daily News.
Ma and his wife, who have two adult children, moved to New York from China’s Guangdong province in 2019 in search of better job opportunities, Chen told the Daily News.
The entire attack was videotaped, which Powell said was ‘a lot of nonsense’ and that Ma attacked him first.
Powell was released on parole in May 2012 after serving more than five years for serious assault, according to records. He was also released on parole in 2000, after serving about two years in an attempted conviction for assault.
According to WABC, Powell had allegedly abducted a 23-year-old woman from an apartment in the Staten Island district of New York City on January 25, 1998 before sexually assaulting her.
He was charged with kidnapping, illegal incarceration, sexual misconduct and sexual assault, but it was not immediately clear if those were the charges he was reportedly serving time on when he was paroled in 2000.
Powell was re-arrested for subway fare evasion eight times between July 2002 and December 2004 before being re-arrested for assault twice at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in February 2006, WABC reported.
Overall, crime has increased more than 20 percent in the last year, and serious crime has increased almost 5 percent.